US, heal thyself

Sir, – The news regarding Muslim unrest around the world (“Muslim riots spread across Middle East, North Africa,” September 16) should really frighten those of us who think it will all go away soon.

The crisis involves a fundamental understanding of Muslim thinking, and it does not portend well because Muslims truly hate Western civilization.

The United States has never understood this. It is not a question of religion alone, for it is a religion of civilizations that makes the difference in thinking and perceptions.

Washington cannot continue its policy of appeasement and must reappraise things now before it is too late. The Democratic Party must insist on a reform of the Obama administration’s foreign policy leading up to the elections.

America should be given every chance because it is important for it to perpetuate its values for the good of the world. Otherwise, we will enter the dark ages of civilization.

It is in the US’s interest to shake up the State Department and intelligence community personnel who do not understand what is happening. A prime example of their thinking is the murder of the American ambassador to Libya, who did not understand the clash of values between Western and Muslim thinking.

TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem

Very sad

Sir, – There are almost no words to describe the sense of shock I felt when I happened across the small news item about our fine Israeli soldiers not being able to walk through Mea She’arim while proudly wearing their uniforms (“Soldiers shed uniforms in Mea She’arim,” News in Brief, September 16).

Anybody who would dare throw stones or eggs, or in any way denigrate a person wearing the uniform of the State of Israel should be hauled away and reeducated about the meaning of honor. (The rest of what I have to say is unprintable.) Are the haredim not able to control the extremists in their midst? Until such time as sanity reigns there will be enmity and bad feelings among our people.

How very sad.

DIANA SCHIOWITZ
Jerusalem

Anti-Judaic

Sir, – Eugene Korn’s apology to Christianity (“The cost of hate,” Comment & features, September 16) is testimony to the America-centered ignorance of the world no less than to the American political establishment.

Korn is completely unaware of the active anti-Israel activity of Catholic authorities and groups (e.g., Pax Christi) in Italy and elsewhere. Their activity in community centers is actively breeding a strain of youth who hardly know what Jews are into an Israel-lambasting mob.

He should learn about a Christianity that in the third millennium is no less anti-Judaic than in the first and second.

ABRAMO FUCHS
Givat Shmuel

Defeat the defeatists

Sir, – Whether, as Habayit Hayehudi leadership candidate Zevulun Orlev asserts, Ayelet Shaked said “the disengagement happened” because of him or, as she says, “Orlev made the disengagement possible, not that he supported it,” is irrelevant (“Shaked, Orlev feud could go to court,” Rosh Hashana supplement, September 16).

Just as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to make capital out of his leaving Ariel Sharon’s government over the Gush Katif expulsion, the fact is that he did not leave until the expulsion was a done deal. Similarly, Orlev, by the very fact that he did not leave the government, enabled it to go ahead.

The right wing in the Sharon government, just like today in Netanyahu’s government, failed miserably to stop the continuing expulsions and discrimination against Jews in our land. Orlev and all the rest who did not take necessary actions must now do t’shuva (penitence) and unite the religious Zionist parties in one bloc to finally defeat the defeatists.

EDITH OGNALL
Netanya

Butt out, Bibi

Sir, – Like so many Americans I am proud of my government’s steadfast support of Israel. I want a strong, secure Israel and have great admiration for the nation and its people.

However, I have been alarmed and discouraged at the rhetoric and behavior of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (“I am not interfering in US presidential election, Netanyahu tells ‘Post,’” September 14). He has indeed inserted himself into our presidential election. With his ultimatums and demands he is driving a wedge between Israel and the US.

There are ways of undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions that don’t provoke another war.

Please remember that Americans are fatigued and deeply skeptical following Iraq and Afghanistan.

We are struggling through a recession and facing a staggering national debt, much of which was caused by paying for the two aforementioned wars.

Netanyahu wants an attack on Iran to prevent even the possibility of developing nuclear weapons? Preemptive war to stop something that we only believe will happen, and don’t know for sure? Where have Americans heard this before? Your prime minister’s rhetoric comes across as an attempt to leverage the US into escalating hostilities with Iran. It indicates that he is making a cynical attempt to take advantage of the presidential campaign.

Put simply, many here resent his behavior. It’s like being treated disrespectfully by a close friend that you want to help and have always been there for in times of need. The Israeli people deserve to know that he is causing serious damage to the friendship between our countries.

BRAD HENDERSHOTT
Portland, Oregon

Sir, – Until now, support for Israel has been universally accepted by both major political parties of my nation. It is clear that Binyamin Netanyahu is trying to interfere in our political process. No free people could ever tolerate such interference from either an ally or an enemy.

Your prime minister is doing irrevocable damage to the longstanding friendship that has existed between our two nations. For those who love Israel and understand the important role the US has played in keeping it safe and free, it is imperative that they do all in their power to reign in Netanyahu before his disastrous interference causes permanent damage.

KEN WILCOX
St. Augustine, Florida

Sir, – With 200+ deliverable nukes, the best trained armed forces (both regular and reserve) in the world, superior command and control, how can Israel be threatened by a second- or third-rate Iran?

Israel will be truly secure when it settles with the moderate PLO government (thus undercutting Hamas and the hotheads). Why, even some moderate Jews, Muslims and Christians will be able to live together in the West Bank settlements (as Palestinian citizens).

I’m sure that after his reelection, President Obama will facilitate this long-range solution.

TED JENKINS
Ottawa

US Jews, listen up

Sir, – After many years of observing trends of voting patterns, I have come to the conclusion that people in Western countries, at least, and especially the US, do not vote according their best interests but, as in sports, according to the “team” they support.

The danger, of course, is that when an idea comes along, good or bad, the followers of the team that proposes it will automatically support it and the followers of the opposing team will automatically oppose it.

The leaders of Western democratic countries should do their best for the general public, although they are hampered by the partisan trait of “We are the champions.” Go tell this to the American Jews.

MICHAEL SCHNEIDER
Ra’anana

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